Call Center Billing Solutions
Not All Billing Service Providers Are the Same
As Billing Service Providers, We Deliver Essential Added Value with Our Comprehensive Billing Service
With the right software, any third-party billing service can generate telephone answering service invoices – and they might even be correct, at least mostly correct. Yet it takes a company with unique industry expertise to produce accurate bills that are easy for accounts to understand and that don’t contain errors, be it over-billing or under-billing.
Over-billing unfairly gouges accounts, disrespects them, causes excessive billing questions, escalates adjustments and good-faith credits, and increases cancelations, not to mention damaging the answering service brand. And once an answering service has its reputation tarnished it takes years to re-establish it, even though a shoddy billing service can ruin it in mere months.
The opposite is under-billing, which is lost money for the answering service. That means they have less money to pay their staff and cover other bills. Under-billing is throwing money away, yet it happens at too many answering services. No business can afford to do that. And if it happens for too long, no answering service can stay in business.
That is why answering services need a billing partner that understands invoicing, knows the industry, and is intimately familiar with answering service usage stats and state-of-the-art software. This points to the billing experts at Call Center Sales Pro.
Timely Billing: Answering services subsist on cash flow. Perform the service, invoice their accounts, collect the money, and pay their bills. Anything that delays billing and collections (more on that later) will delay issuing paychecks and paying bills. To have any hope of covering payroll and remitting invoices on time, answering services must generate bills efficiently and sent them out quickly. Each delay in billing serves to delay payments, which hits cash flow hard. The accounting team at Call Center Sales Pro is committed to sending out invoices on time, every time.
Accurate Invoices: When it comes to billing, fast is good, but accuracy is essential. Inaccurate invoices means extra phone calls from accounts, time spent investigating and explaining charges, making adjustments, offering concessions, and the potential to lose a client. It’s so much better just to send an accurate bill in the first place. The billing experts at Call Center Sales Pro know account usage stats and all the common answering service platforms and invoicing systems. They take raw statistics and turn them into billable transactions according to each answering service’s precise specifications.
Effective Collections: In an ideal world everyone pays their bills in full and on time. Unfortunately not everyone does and some companies can’t. When it comes to late paying accounts, inaction is the worst response. Once an invoice becomes a past due invoice, the longer it goes uncollected, and the greater the likelihood it will never be collected. Eventually it becomes bad debt, which the answering service must write off.
The key to avoiding this unfortunate occurrence is to begin working each past due charge as soon as it becomes delinquent, not next month, not next week, and not even the next day. Each day of delay lessens the chances of success.
But don’t fret, Call Center Sales Pro can whisk past due worries away and handle all the collections. Of course no one can guarantee a 100 percent collection rate, but with Call Center Sales Pro’s time-proven techniques they can achieve the best possible outcome.
Mini Case Study #1: One Call Center Sales Pro client, a medium telephone answering service, had not given their collections effort much attention – for a long time. Their past due receivables were a mess, with much more in the aging categories than their current billing. They needed help and turned to the collections experts at Call Center Sales Pro.
Putting a strategic collection plan in place, Call Center Sales Pro immediately went to work. They gave this effort their concerted attention every day. In no time they were consistently collecting $5 to $10,000 a day of their client’s past due billing, dollars they would have otherwise had to write off. After a few months, with the client’s collection nightmare corrected, Call Center Sales Pro was ready to transition collections back to their client. But the client was so pleased with the results, they asked Call Center Sales Pro to continue this effort on an ongoing basis.
Billing Analysis: If an answering service sends invoices on time and they contain accurate information, and then if it receives payment in full when expected, isn’t that all that matters? No. This is just the start, a good start, but there’s more.
Answering services need to identify their most profitable accounts and seek to retain them. Even more importantly they must determine their least profitable accounts and take action to turn them into ones that are more profitable.
The Call Center Sales Pro team can run a profitability analysis after each billing cycle to determine which accounts are dragging down the entire operation. They can determine what rates those accounts should be paying and implement the needed billing rate adjustments. Using this approach, each month they turn the lowest performing accounts into valuable assets. An answering service can’t lose.
Identifying Add-on Services:Running a profitability report after each billing cycle and adjusting the rates of underperforming outliers is an essential first step in optimizing client billing. Beyond that, Call Center Sales Pro can pinpoint accounts that could benefit from add-on services. Once identified, they can contact these accounts to upsell or cross-sell, providing greater top line revenue and increasing bottom line profits.
Additionally, some add-on services are revenue neutral, for both the answering service and the client. But these particular services make it easier for staff to serve the client, help reduce errors, or add tangible value for the client. The outcomes of promoting these types of services produce massive intangible benefits.
Customized Reporting:In addition to generating meaningful billing and collection summaries for each answering service, Call Center Sales Pro can produce custom reports for specific accounts to meet their unique needs. These reports contain actionable data to help their accounts better manage their business and serve their own customers.
The billing experts at Call Center Sales Pro will carefully program each report, whether a summary analysis or detail examination. They tap their years of industry experience and in-depth knowledge of leading answering service billing databases to produce information in a format readily usable by the client. Both the report design and its periodic generation become billable add-on services to provide greater value to accounts and additional revenue for the answering service.
Increased Revenue: Too many answering services work diligently for their accounts, providing quality service and professional results, but they fail to fully realize the rewards of their efforts by neglecting to appropriately bill for their hard work. The billing analysis and selling of add-on services, such as customized reports, along with optimal collection practices, all work to accomplish one grand goal of increasing revenue.
This is the ultimate goal of Call Center Sales Pro’s billing services: to maximize their answering service accounts’ revenue.
Mini Case Study #2: Call Center Sales Pro went to work for a small answering service, whose monthly billing had stagnated. By conducting monthly billing analyses, selling two add-on services, and implementing custom reporting for select accounts, Call Center Sales Pro increased their billing by $13,000 a month, which projects to $156,000 a year. And they realized all this without adding a single new client or increasing operator labor.
When Call Center Sales Pro turned their attention to sales and marketing, things really took off.
Maximized Profitability: In parallel to increasing revenue, Call Center Sales Pro’s consulting services can look at an answering service’s overall operation, identifying steps to boost the bottom line. While optimizing billing to increase revenue is an essential first step, this only addresses one segment of the overall answering service operation.
Call Center Sales Pro consultants can evaluate hiring and training practices, operator schedules, the technology infrastructure, and, of course, sales and marketing initiatives. By taking steps to improve each of these areas, along with optimizing billing, the result is maximized profitability. And isn’t that the reason to own a business?
Mini Case Study #3: Another answering service turned to Call Center Sales Pro to help maximize their profitability. The Call Center Sales Pro billing team looked at each accounts’ individual profitability to measure their usage contrasted to the corresponding value provided. They made the necessary changes, working with the accounts so they understood their needs and demands balanced with the costs. They then provided an agreement rate change addendum or new agreement to correspond to the billing changes. As a result, after just one quarter, they increased the price per minute from the $0.33 to $0.60 range up to an initial target range of $0.70 to $1.00.
Recent Projects: Avoiding a one-size fits-all solution for their clients, Call Center Sales Pro treats each client as unique, providing the exact services and solutions the client needs to optimize their billing processes and related initiatives. Here are some of their latest achievements:
- Establish Secure Access Gateway (SAGE) for credit card transactions, ACH (Automated Clearing House) payments, and batch processing
- Preform audit with operational comparison to account usage
- Generate daily collection reports and posting summaries
- Design invoicing templates for per call, per minute, and flat rate billing plans
- Handle billing reconciliation with MDR (message detail reporting) database
- Customized reports to correspond with MDR statistics
Billing Link 4 Expertise: One of the premier answering service billing packages in the industry is Billing Link 4. Call Center Sales Pro has vat experience using Billing Link 4, from set-up, to optimization, to tapping its advanced features. Their recent accomplishments include:
- Upgrade client from Billing Link 3 to Billing Link 4
- Import billing database from TasBiller into Billing Link 4
- Program Billing Link 4 from scratch
- Implement transaction codes to better reflect and analyze revenue streams
- Develop customized formulas to match operational usage
- Create branded invoice templates for monthly billing, 28-day billing cycles, and auto pay accounts
- Manage entire Billing Link 4 process
Ensure Compliance:Telephone answering services face an increasing number of tracking,reconciliation,and compliance issues to conform to governmental regulation and various business partners agreements. Here are three common examples:
- Provide BAA (business associate agreement) in accordance with HIPAA (the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) guidelines. HIPAA classifies medical answering services as business associates (BA) of their healthcare accounts. Both parties are legally responsible for the protection of callers’ personal health information (PHI). Having a BAA in place protects both the answering service and their healthcare account.
- Create requisite form letters relating to healthcare privacy as mandated by HIPAA in the United States and PHIPA (the Personal Health Information Protection Act) in Ontario, as well as the aforementioned BAA
- Establish operational procedures to ensure compliance in these areas
Optimize Daily Operations for Financial Efficacy: Accurate billing not only requires an attention to detail and mastery of transactional data, but it also necessitates a strategic alignment of routine processes and records management. Call Center Sales Pro can identify areas needing alignment and standardization.
Without undertaking these critical initiatives, daily answering service functions will routinely thwart billing precision. Here are some recent Call Center Sales Pro system innovations to address misalignment dilemmas:
- Implement standardization processes for account set ups, account changes, and cancellations.
- Design custom attachments and establish centralized repository to store contracts and related resources.
- Manage miSecure licensing, including database information storage and costs added per provider
- Establish pager management system to better oversee device stock and active inventory, tracking by serial number and providing a database to store relevant related information.
About Call Center Sales Pro: Founded in 2014 by industry veteran Janet Livingston, Call Center Sales Pro was formed to help answering services grow their businesses. Call Center Sales Pro is a full-service consultancy that addresses the big picture for their clients, including operations, billing, accounting, technology, customer service, and administration, in addition to sales and marketing. They can also address needs in diverse areas such as training, compensation, human resources, and financial management, including owner retirement and business succession, as well as optimizing the business for acquisition.
Call Center Sales Pro is adept at optimizing their clients’ overall operation. Though some clients hire them just to bring on new business, most also tap their expertise to analyze all aspects of the answering service operation.
As client needs change, the services provided by Call Center Sales Pro adjusts to match, with Call Center Sales Pro’s main goal of helping clients grow and succeed.